Belarus plans to boost potash sales to China

Reuters

* BPC says to supply a "significant amount" per year underdraft deal

* Overture to China follows break-up of Belarus-Russianpotash venture

* BPC has been on sales drive since breakup of Uralkali JV

MINSK, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Belarus, trying to build uptrading momentum after the collapse of a joint venture withRussia, plans to increase potash supplies to China, the world'sbiggest consumer of the crop nutrient, Belarus said on Friday.

Belarus' sales alliance with Russian potash giant Uralkali broke up in July, threatening to push down prices andcausing an economic headache for Belarus, where potash exportsaccount for 12 percent of state revenue.

The trading arm of state potash producer Belaruskali -Belarusian Potash Company (BPC) - said it had signed athree-year draft supply contract with China's Sinofert Holdings.

Sinofert, which is China's largest fertiliser supplier anddistributor, confirmed the framework deal to Reuters.

The breakup of the alliance between Uralkali and Belaruskalihas left North America's Canpotex Ltd, owned by Potash Corp , Mosaic Co and Agrium Inc, asthe last global potash-trading partnership. Potash Corp expectsCanpotex to sign a new contract with the Chinese firm in early2014.

Attempts by Belaruskali and other producers to placeadditional volumes following the breakup could put furtherpressure on prices, Uralkali has said.

BPC declined to disclose volumes and prices of futuresupplies to Sinofert, although its representative IrinaSavchenko told Reuters the contract would cover "a significantamount every year."

BPC plans to boost its sales by up to 100,000 tonnesmonth-on-month in October. China imports around 6 million tonnesof potash a year, more than 10 percent of global demand.

BPC did not say when it would sign the actual supplycontract with Sinofert. Signing the memorandum "gives us reasonto be confident that we will cooperate in the future," Savchenkosaid.

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